This policy is to establish consistent meal account procedures for Lynchburg City Schools.
General Statement of Policy
No student shall be denied a meal solely for failure to pay:
1) Within the first thirty (30) school days of the first semester of a school year while the student's application for free or reduced price meals is being processed.
2) Within the first five (5) consecutive school days following a new student’s enrollment in Lynchburg City Schools to allow the family time to apply for free or reduced price meals.
3) Within three (3) consecutive school days following a student's meal fund account reaching a zero or negative balance.
National School Lunch Program Meal Eligibility
Free and reduced price meals are available to students who are determined eligible based on the following criteria:
- All children in households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly known as Food Stamps) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are eligible for free meals.
- Foster children who are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or the court are eligible for free meals.
- Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
- Children may receive free or reduced price meals if their household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines.
1) Families must file an application annually to determine current eligibility for free or reduced price meals. Families can apply at any time throughout the school year.
2) Eligibility from one school year is carried over for the first thirty (30) school days of the next school year to allow time for families to re-apply.
3) If a new application has not been received and approved by the cut-off date, 30 school days after school begins, eligibility for the program is forfeited and parents/caregivers are responsible for meal charges incurred.
1) Students who are eligible for free meals will not be allowed to incur a negative account balance. Free meal status allows a child to receive a free school breakfast and lunch every day. All other students will be allowed to charge a maximum dollar equivalent of three (3) days’ meals, both breakfast and lunch, which will be known as the “account cap.”
2) Low or negative balances will be communicated to parents/guardians at regular intervals through email and phone alerts.
3) When a student reaches the “account cap,” he/she will be offered an alternate meal, also known as an emergency meal. Sample: cheese sandwich, fruit and milk. The alternate meal will be offered at no cost to the student.
4) Once a student’s account reaches a negative balance, no a la carte items will be sold to the student until the account balance is paid in full.
5) No student will be allowed to charge a la carte items.
6) All accounts must be settled at the end of a school year. If a student’s account is not in good standing at the end of the school year, the administration may take one or more of the following actions, unless or until prohibited by state law or regulation:
- Prohibit the student’s participation or other students in the student’s household from participating in any future fee or charge-based program until or unless the negative or delinquent balance is paid in full.
- Refer the account to a collection agency.
- Initiate a claim in the court system.
- Notify other appropriate state agencies.
7) A parent may request from the School Nutrition Office that a block be placed on a student’s account to prohibit the purchase of a la carte items or to set a dollar cap for daily purchases.
8) Requests for refunds of student meal accounts must be submitted in writing to the School Nutrition Office. An email request is also acceptable.
9) A parent/guardian may request a transfer of funds from a student to another sibling by calling the School Nutrition Office.
Approved: June 20, 2017